The iced cortado is the perfect coffee drink for the summer months. It’s cold, and the added ice cubes will bring it to a refreshing temperature.

The iced cortado stands alone as the best iced coffee you can order — it’s bold and flavorful and is versatile enough to be enjoyed in a multitude of ways.

In this article, I’ll go in-depth about the iced cortado so you’ll have all the information to make one at home.

I’ve also listed various add-ins that work well with this iced drink so you can customize the drink to your liking. Let’s get started.

What is an iced cortado?

An iced cortado is a double espresso with an equal part milk, served on ice. It is similar to an iced latte but has a stronger coffee flavor because it uses less milk.

Homemade iced cortado.

An iced cortado is a great option for people who want the caffeine boost of espresso but don’t want the high sugar content of typical lattes or Frappuccinos.

You can also customize the drink to your liking by adding sweetener, flavoring, or whipped cream.

It’s lightweight but still has a creamy, rich flavor. It’s made with equal parts espresso and milk, so you can get your morning dose of caffeine and still enjoy a refreshing drink.

Below, I’ll go over the ingredients that are needed to make an iced cortado yourself:

What ingredients are needed to make an iced cortado?

An iced cortado requires just three main ingredients, which I’ve listed below:

  • Espresso coffee
  • Milk of choice
  • Ice cubes
All ingredients that you need to make an iced cortado at home.

This recipe is so fun to make, and you can be sitting out in the sun with this drink in your hand within five minutes.

Below, I’ll go over how to make great espresso at home, what kind of milk is best used, and how you can sweeten your iced cortado to make it taste however you want!

How do you make great espresso at home?

There are a few ways to make espresso at home. You can use one of the following coffee brewers:

  • Espresso machine
  • a Moka pot
  • or an AeroPress.

An espresso machine is the most traditional way to make espresso at home. It uses pressurized water to force hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. This produces a rich, intense coffee with a thick crema on top.

A Moka pot is another popular way to make espresso at home. It works by forcing pressurized steam through the coffee grounds, resulting in a similar result as an espresso machine.

However, the resulting coffee isn’t as strong as espresso made with an espresso machine. It is, however, a more affordable option.

The AeroPress is a newer device that’s growing in popularity for making espresso and can also brew a delicious big cup of coffee, which makes it the most versatile coffee brewer out of the three.

Blooming coffee in the AeroPress.

Additionally, you can use your Nespresso or Keurig machine to make the espresso base for this recipe. These coffee machines can make great iced coffee.

I recommend choosing a strong coffee pod so the iced cortado will come out well-balanced with a robust coffee flavor.

What kind of milk is best used for this recipe?

For an iced cortado, you can use any milk. If you want a richer and creamier drink, I would recommend using whole or 2% milk.

Unlike a hot cortado, where whole milk works best, you can pick any milk for this iced version.

But if you’re looking for a lighter drink, skim or 1% milk will work just fine.

Milk in a jar.

Your favorite dairy-free milk will also work amazing. Coconut milk works great as it has a slightly sweet taste, which combines great with the strong espresso coffee.

Combining the milk with the cold espresso will be the easiest way to make this iced cortado.

Some people also like to add a little foam to their iced cortados, which can be achieved by cold foaming the milk.

You can make cold foam using various techniques, which I go into detail about here. It’s a great way to add a bit of structure to your iced coffee.

Which add-ins taste good in an iced cortado?

Coffee syrup is the most popular add-in for an iced cortado, as it balances out the bitterness of the coffee with sweetness and flavor.

Cortados are made with espresso and milk, so pretty much any coffee syrup will taste good in them. Hazelnut, vanilla, and caramel syrups all pair well with espresso.

You can use a store-bought coffee syrup or make it yourself.

I prefer making coffee syrups at home because they can be made within five minutes, and you can make a pretty big batch to sweeten many iced coffees in the following days.

Cinnamon brown sugar syrup.
Homemade cinnamon brown sugar syrup

A little coffee syrup goes a long way with an iced cortado. The coffee isn’t too overpowering because equal parts espresso and milk are used.

The cinnamon brown sugar cortado is a great example of this. You can easily make this recipe into an iced version as well.

If you want to check out some great coffee syrups that you can make at home, you can check them out here. For example, check out this cinnamon brown sugar syrup!

Iced Cortado

Iced cortado.

Brew a delicious iced cortado that is high in caffeine and is refreshing on a hot summer day!

Prep Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • Two espresso shots (2 oz or 60 ml)
  • 2 oz or 60 ml of whole milk
  • Ice cubes
  • Optionally: a sweetener of choice


  1. Start by brewing two shots of espresso.
  2. While the espresso is brewing, fill a glass to about halfway with ice.
  3. Once the espresso coffee has brewed, cool it slightly with an ice cube.
  4. Meanwhile, you can cold foam the milk if you prefer.
  5. Add the espresso coffee to the ice-filled glass.
  6. Pour the milk on top of the espresso coffee. If you're using cold foam for your coffee, make sure to finish your drink with a foamy layer.
  7. If you prefer, finish your iced cortado with coffee syrup.
  8. Stir well and enjoy!


If you want to make this coffee in the early morning, brew the espresso coffee before going to bed. Store it in the fridge to cool it completely. You can instantly make this drink when waking up!

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Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 34Total Fat: 1.8gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 2.5gSugar: 3gProtein: 1.8g

How many calories are in an iced cortado?

The number of calories in your iced cortado can be quite low, depending on the milk you’re using and if you’re adding a sweetener to it.

An iced cortado made with whole milk has a total of 34 calories. This does not include a sweetener.

Low-fat milk will have fewer calories, just like dairy-free milk. Make sure to prepare this drink however you like, with the flavor you prefer.


That’s it! You have now learned how to make an iced cortado. It’s quick, delicious, and easy to do at home.

My favorite part about this recipe is that you can sweeten it however you like and make it with any milk you have in the fridge.

So what are you waiting for? Go grab your coffee beans and get started on making the best coffee drink that will be perfect for these summer days ahead!

If you want to try your hand at some more espresso-based recipes that are perfect for a warm day, you can have a look below.

More espresso recipes to try

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